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Had not his Maker's all-bestowing hand
Go seek on Revelation's hallow'd ground, Giv'n him a soul, and bade him understand; Sure to succeed, the remedy they found ; The reas'ning pow'r vouchsaf”d of course in ferr'd Touch'd by that pow'r that you have dar'd 10 mock The pow'r to clothe that reason with his word; That makes seas stable, and dissolves the rock, For all is perfect, that God works on Earth, Your heart shall yield a life-renewing stream, And he, that gives conception, aids the birth. That fools, as you have done, shall call a dream. If this be plain, 'tis plainly understood,
It happen'd on a solemn eventide, What uses of his boon the giver would.
Soon after He that was our Surety died, The Mind, dispatch'd upon her busy toil,
Two bosom friends, each pensively inclin'd, Should range where Providence has bless'd the soil ; The scene of all those sorrows left behind, Visiting ev'ry flow'r with labor meet,
Sought their own village, busied as they went And gath'ring all her treasures sweet by sweet, In musings worthy of the great event: She should imbue the tongue with what she sips, They spake of him they lov’d, of him whose life, And shed the balmy blessing on the lips,
Though blameless, had incurrid perpetual strife, That good diffus'd may more abundant grow, Whose deeds had left, in spite of hostile arts, And speech may praise the pow'r that bids it flow. A deep memorial graven on their hearts. Will the sweet warbler of the livelong night, The recollection, like a vein of ore, 'That fills the list’ning lover with delight,
The farther trac'd, enrich'd them still the more ; Forget his harmony, with rapture heard,
They thought him, and they justly thought him, To learn the twitt'ring of a meaner bird ? Or make the parrot's mimicry his choice,
Sent to do more than he appear'd I have done; That odious libel on a human voice;
T'exalt a people, and to place them high No-Nature, unsophisticate by man,
Above all else, and wonder'd he should die. Starts not aside from her Creator's plan;
Ere yet they brought their journey to an end,
A stranger join'd them, courteous as a friend,
What their affliction was, and begg'd a share.
And, truth and wisdom gracing all he said, Whom man for his own 'hurt permits to reign, Explain'd, illustrated, and search'd so well Who shifts and changes all things but his shape, The tender theme on which they chose to dwell, And would degrade her vot’ry 10 an ape,
That reaching home, “ The night," they said, “is The fruitful parent of abuse and wrong,
near, Holds a usurp'd dominion o'er his tongue;
We must not now be parted—sojourn here." There sits and prompts him with his own disgrace, The new acquaintance soon became a guest, Prescribes the theme, the tone, and the grimace, And, made so welcome at their simple feast, And, when accomplish'd in her wayward school, He bless'd the bread, but vanish'd at the word, Calls gentleman whom she has made a fool. And left them both exclaiming, “ 'Twas the Lord! "Tis an unalterable fix'd decree,
Did not our hearts feel all he deign'd to say, That none could frame or ratify but she,
Did they not burn within us by the way?" That Heav'n and Hell, and righteousness and sin, Now theirs was converse, such as it behores Snares in his path, and foes that lurk within, Man to maintain, and such as God approves : God and his attributes, (a field of day
Their views indeed were indistinct and dim, Where 'tis an angel's happiness to stray,)
But yet successful, being aim'd at him. Fruits of his love and wonders of his might,
Christ and his character their only scope,
Their object, and their subject, and their hope,
Found him as prompt, as their desire was true,
Well-what are ages and the lapse of time Give it the breast, or stop its mouth with pap! Match'd against truths, as lasting as sublime ? Is it incredible, or can it seem
Can length of years on God himself exact, A dream to any, except those that dream,
Or make that fiction, which was once a fact ?
The works of man inherit, as is just,
But truth divine for ever stands secure,
Fix'd in the rolling flood of endless years, Than that heroic strut assum'd before,
The pillar of th' eternal plan appears, Know, your arrears with ev'ry hour accrue The raving storm and dashing wave defies, for mercy shown, while wrath is justly due. Built by that Architect who built the skies. The time is short, and there are souls on Earth, Hearts may be found, that harbor at this hour Though future pain may serve for present mirth, That love of Christ, and all its quick'ning pow'r, Acquainted with the woes, that fear or shame, And lips unstain'd by folly or by strife, By Fashion taught, forbade them once to name, Whose wisdom, drawn from the deep well of life And, having felt the pangs you deem a jest, Tastes of its healthful origin, and flows Have prov'd them truths too big to be express'd. A Jordan for th' ablution of our woes.
O days of Heav'n, and nights of equal praise, Youth has a sprightliness and fire to boast,
Crown'd with the garland of life's blooming years; Discourse, as if releas'd and safe at home,
Yet Age, by long experience well informid, Of dangers past, and wonders yet to come, Well read, well temper'd, with religion warm'd, And spread the sacred treasures of the breast That fire abated, which impels rash youth, Upon the lap of covenanted Rest.
Proud of his speed, to overshoot the truth, “What, always dreaming over heav'nly things, As time improves the grape's authentic juice, Like angel-heads in stone with pigeon-wings ? Mellows and makes the speech more fit for use, Canting and whining out all day the word, And claims a rev'rence in its short'ning day, And half the night? fanatic and absurd !
That 'tis an honor and a joy to pay. Mine be the friend less frequent in his pray’rs, The fruits of Age, less fair, are yet more sound, Who makes no bustle with his soul's affairs, Than those a brighter season pours around; Whose wit can brighten up a wint'ry day, And, like the stores autumnal suns mature, And chase the splenetic dull hours away ; Through wint'ry rigors unimpair'd endure. Content on Earth in earthly things to shine,
What is fanatic frenzy, scorn'd so much,
Well spoken, advocate of sin and shame, But sage observers oft mistake the flame,
To supplicate his mercy, love his ways,
And prize them above pleasure, wealth, or praise, Religion curbs indeed its wanton play,
Though common sense, allow'd a casting voice, And brings the trifler under rig'rous sway,
And free from bias, must approve the choice, But gives it usefulness unknown before,
Convicts a man fanatic in th' extreme, And, purifying, makes it shine the more.
And wild as madness in the world's esteem A Christian's wit is inoffensive light,
But that disease, when soberly defin’d, A beam that aids, but never grieves the sight; Is the false fire of an o'erheated mind; Vig'rous in age as in the flush of youth,
It views the truth with a distorted eye, 'Tis always active on the side of truth ;
And either warps or lays it useless by ; Temp'rance and peace insure its healthful state, "Tis narrow, selfish, arrogant, and draws And make it brightest at its latest date.
Its sordid nourishment from man's applause ; Oh I have seen (nor hope perhaps in vain,
And while at heart sin unrelinquish'd lies, Ere life go down, to see such sights again) Presumes itself chief fav’rite of the skies. A verran warrior in the Christian field,
'Tis such a light as putrefaction breeds Who never saw the sword he could not wield; In fly-blown Aesh, whereon the maggot feeds, Grave without dullness, learned without pride, Shines in the dark, but, usher'd into day, Exact, yet not precise, though meek, keen-ey'd; The stench remains, the lustre dies away. A man that would have foil'd at their own play True bliss, if man may reach it, is compos'd A dozen would-bcs of the modern day;
Of hearts in union mutually disclos'd ; Who, when occasion justified its use,
And, farewell else all hope of pure delight, Had wit as bright as ready to produce,
Those hearts should be reclaim'd, renew'd, upright Could fetch from records of an earlier age, Bad men, profaning friendship's hallow'd name, Or from philosophy's enlighten'd page,
Form, in its stead a covenant of shame, His rich materials, and regale your ear
A dark confed'racy against the laws With strains it was a privilege to hear :
Of virtue, and religion's glorious cause: Yet above all his luxury supreme,
They build each other up with dreadful skill, And his chief glory, was the Gospel theme; As bastions set point-blank against God's will: There he was copious as old Greece or Rome, Enlarge and fortify the dread redoubt, His happy eloquence seem'd there at home, Deeply resolv'd to shut a Savior out; Ambitious not to shine or to excel,
Call legions up from Hell to back the deed; But to treat justly what he lov'd so well.
And, curs'd with conquest, finally succeed. It moves me more perhaps than folly ought, But souls, that carry on a blest exchange When some green heads, as void of wit as thought, of joys, they meet with in their heav'nly range, Suppose themselves monopolists of sense,
And with a fearless confidence made known And wiser men's ability pretence.
The sorrows, sympathy esteems its own, Though time will wear us, and we must grow old, Daily derive increasing light and force Such men are not forgot as soon as cold,
From such communion in their pleasant course, Their fragrant mem'ry will outlast their tomb, Feel less the journey's roughness and its length, Embalm'd for ever in its own perfume.
Meet their opposers with united strength, And to say truth, though in its early prime, And, one in heart, in int’rest, and design, And when unstain'd with any grosser crime, Gird up each other to the race divine.
But Conversation, choose what theme we may, That while in health the ground of her support And chiefly when religion leads the way,
Is madly to forget that life is short ; Should flow, like waters after summer show'rs, That sick she trembles, knowing she must die, Not as if rais'd by mere mechanic pow'rs,
Her hope presumption, and her faith a lie ;
And useless as a candle in a skull,
A trick upon the canvas, painted flame.
Tell her again, the sneer upon her face,
And all her censures of the work of grace,
Strange tidings these to tell a world, who treat That in her heart the Christian she reveres,
And while she seems to scorn him, only fears. Will they believe, though credulous enough,
A poet does not work by square or line, To swallow much upon much weaker proof, As smiths and joiners perfect a design; That there are blest inhabitants of Earth,
At least we moderns, our attention less,
Beyond th' example of our sires digress,
And, having struck the balance, now proceed. And in the silent watches of the night,
Perhaps however as some years have passid,
And I have liv'd recluse, in rural shades,
Great changes and new manners have occurr'd, God's work may serve an ape upon a stage
And blest reforms, that I have never heard, With such a jest, as fillid with hellish glee And she may now be as discreet and wise, Certain invisibles as shrewd as he ;
As once absurd in all discerning eyes.
Sobriety perhaps may now be found,
And he grown chaste, that was the slave of lust; Peruses closely the true Christian's face,
Arts once esteem'd may be with shame dismiss'd; And finds it a mere mask of sly grimace ;
Charity may relax the miser's fist; Usurps God's office, lays his bosom bare,
The gamester may have cast his cards away, And finds hypocrisy close lurking there;
Forgot to curse, and only kneel to pray. And, serving God herself through mere constraint, It has indeed been told me (with what weight, Concludes his unfeign'd love of him a feint. How credibly, 'tis hard for me to state) And yet, God knows, look human nature through, That fables old, that seem'd for ever mute, (And in due time the World shall know it too,) Reviv'd are hast’ning into fresh repute, That since the flow'rs of Eden felt the blast, And gods and goddesses, discarded long That after man's defection laid all waste,
Like useless lumber, or a stroller's song, Sincerity tow'rds the heart-searching God
Are bringing into vogue their heathen train,
That certain feasts are instituted now,
That all Olympus through the country roves, Weak and imperfect in all grace beside,
To consecrate our few remaining groves,
That having prov'd the weakness, it should seem,
And give the moral springs their proper play, His birthright shaken, and no longer clear, They mean to try what may at last be done. Than while his conduct proves his heart sincere. By stout substantial gods of wood and stone Retort the charge, and let the World be told And whether Roman rites may not produce She boasts a confidence she does not hold; The virtues of old Rome for English use. That, conscious of her crimes, she feels instead May such success attend the pious plan, A cold misgiving, and a killing dread :
May Mercury once more embellish man,
Grace him again with long-forgotten arts,
SUPPOSED TO BE WRITTEN BY ALEXANDER SELKIRK, And teach the softer not to copy theirs :
DURING HIS SOLITARY ABODE IN THE ISLAND OF The change shall please, nor shall it matter aught JUAN FERNANDEZ. Who works the wonder, if it be but wrought. 'Tis time, however, if the case stands thus,
I am monarch of all I survey, For us plain folks, and all who side with us,
My right there is none to dispute ; To build our altar, confident and bold,
From the centre all round to the sea, And say as stern Elijah said of old,
I am lord of the fowl and the brute. The strife now stands upon a fair award,
O Solitude! where are the charms If Israel's Lord be God, then serve the Lord :
That sages have seen in thy face? If he be silent, faith is all a whim,
Better dwell in the midst of alarms,
Than reign in this horrible place.
I am out of humanity's reach,
I must finish my journey alone, As when returning to the theme they meant;
Never hear the sweet music of speech, As mendicants, whose business is to roam,
I start at the sound of my own. Make ev'ry parish but their own their home.
The beasts, that roam over the plain, Though such continual zigzags in a book,
My form with indifference see ;
Their tameness is shocking to me.
Society, friendship, and love,
Divinely bestow'd upon man, But now to gather up what seems dispers'd,
O, had I the wings of a dove,
How soon would I taste you again!
In the ways of religion and truth,
Might learn from the wisdom of age, To close in sable ev'ry social scene,
And be cheer'd by the sallies of youth And give good company a face severe, As if they met around a father's bier ;
Religion! what treasure untold For tell some men, that pleasure all their bent,
Resides in that heavenly word! And laughter all their work, is life misspent,
More precious than silver and gold, Their wisdom bursts into this sage reply,
Or all that this Earth can afford. “Then mirth is sin, and we should always cry." But the sound of the church-going bell To find the medium asks some share of wit,
These valleys and rocks never heard, And therefore 'tis a mark fools never hit:
Never sigh'd at the sound of a knell,
Or smil'd when a sabbath appear'd.
Ye winds, that have made me your sport,
Some cordial endearing report
Of a land, I shall visit no more.
A wish or a thought after me?
How fleet is a glance of the mind !
Compar’d with the speed of its flight, Sprightly and fresh, enriches ev'ry theme,
The tempest itself lags behind, While all the happy man possess'd before,
And the swift-winged arrows of light. The gift of Nature, or the classic store,
When I think of my own native land, Is made subservient to the grand design
In a moment I seem to be there; For which Heav'n form d the faculty divine.
But alas ! recollection at hand
Soon hurries me back to despair.
The beast is laid down in his lair ;
Even here is a season of rest, Once take the shell beneath his just command,
And I to my cabin repair. In gentle sounds it seems as it complain'd
There's mercy in every place, of the rude injuries it late sustain'd,
And merey, encouraging thought!
Gives even affliction a grace,
Now see him mounted once again
Upon his nimble steed, Full slowly pacing o'er the stones,
With caution and good heed.
But finding soon a smoother road
Beneath his well-si.od feet, The snorting beast began to trot,
Which gall’d him in his seal.
So, “ Fair and softly," John he cried,
But John he cried in vain; That trot became a gallop soon,
In spite of curb and rein.
So stooping down, as needs he must
Who cannot sit upright, He grasp'd the mane with both his hands,
And eke with all his might.
“ I am a linen-draper bold,
As all the world doth know,
Will lend his horse to go."
And, for that wine is dear,
Which is both bright and clear."
O'erjoy'd was he to find,
She had a frugal mind.
But yet was not allow'd
Should say that she was proud.
Where they did all get in;
To dash through thick and thin.
Were never folk so glad,
As if Cheapside were mad.
Seiz'd fast the flowing mane,
But soon came down again;
His journey to begin,
Three customers come in.
His horse, who never in that sort
Had handled been before, What thing upon his back had got
Did wonder more and more.
Away went Gilpin, neck or nought;
Away went hat and wig ;
Of running such a rig.
The wind did blow, the cloak did fiy,
Like streamer long and gay, Till, loop and button failing both,
At last it flew away.
Then might all people well discern
The bottles he had slung ;
As hath been said or sung.